published Monday, August 27th, 2012

Get Off the Couch: Guthrie salute, men in kilts

LISA DENTON: Barry, this is the last Monday in August, so that means we're heading into Labor Day weekend. I have to say, I'd welcome a rest from my labor.

One interesting event coming up is a centennial celebration by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 75. During an open house Friday, they'll present performer Randy Noojin in a Woody Guthrie salute.

Noojin has multiple stage, film and television credits, ranging from "I Don't Know How She Does It" to "The Good Wife."

I've always wanted to be a character actor just so I could have credits like "bowling alley alien" (his role in the movie "Men in Black 3") or "perp" (his billing in CBS' "Person of Interest").

BARRY COURTER: I've always wanted to claim "best boy" or "grip" on my resume, but "perp" would be pretty cool. Have I ever mentioned my earlier modeling career? I've done a lot of work as the "before" guy.

This is a pretty neat event, actually. Local 75 is celebrating its 100th anniversary with the Guthrie show, which celebrates the centennial of his birth. Guthrie was considered the voice of the working man before Merle Haggard became the poet of the working man.

LISA: Guthrie wrote hundreds of songs. A lot of them were political, of course, but there were plenty for children too. His most famous is "This Land Is Your Land." Everybody knows that one.

Even though the event is not until Friday, they'd like a head count by Tuesday. You can call 894-3557. Admission is free, but donations to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen are encouraged. The open house will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the union hall, 3922 Volunteer Drive, and Noojin's performance will start at 6 p.m.

You know what else is coming up? The Appalachian Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games in Ringgold, Ga., on Saturday and Sunday. I think this festival can be summed up in three words: Men in kilts.

BARRY: For your sake, I hope it's a windy day, but that doesn't sell it for me. Also, and this isn't my bag, but our own Times Free Press is sponsoring a boutique bridal affair Thursday evening at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Any event that promises to hand you a glass of champagne upon entering is OK in my book.

LISA: Maybe I'll put that in the employee suggestion box: Champagne each morning as I walk in the door. I know what you're thinking -- 9 a.m. does seem a wee bit early to break out the bubbly. But you know what they say: It's 5 o'clock somewhere. I did some checking, and 9 a.m. in Chattanooga is 5 p.m. in Jerusalem. So cheers and shalom.

Get event details every Friday in Current or online at

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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